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McPhersonSentinel - McPherson, KS
  • Meet the Ulster Project students

  • The Ulster Project helps foster peacemaking between young Catholics and Protestants from Northern Ireland. Every July, teens from both religions visit McPherson and other sites in the United States and gain a better understanding of each other.
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  • The Ulster Project helps foster peacemaking between young Catholics and Protestants from Northern Ireland. Every July, teens from both religions visit McPherson and other sites in the United States and gain a better understanding of each other.
     
    Jonny Clarke
    1. Who is your host family?
    The Johnsons: Tate. Addie, Michelle, Eric.
    2. What is the biggest difference between Kansas and Northern Ireland?
    The biggest difference is the collective community in which all people in McPherson are accepted no matter of their beliefs, gender or race.
    3. What are you looking forward to the most?
    Everything so far has been fantastic so I’m excited for my remaining two weeks in McPherson however, I’m completely buzzing (for all you Americans, that means exciting) for the demolition derby.
    4. What do you feel you will gain from the Ulster Project?
    I know I will gain friendships both with Protestants and Catholics and develop my leadership skills. Additionally, I feel I have gained more respect for the Catholic religion and respect the faith a lot more.
    5. How and why did you get involved in the Ulster Project?
    I got involved in the Ulster Project through my friends who had really benefited from going in 2012. I wanted to get involved in order to make new friendships and gain lifelong skills.
    6. If you could invite any three people, dead or alive, to a party, who would they be?
    Calvin Harris to provide music, Miranda Hart (a British comedian) for the laughter, and Ed Sheeran.
    Aedan Vallely
    1. Who is your host family?
    Eric and Michelle Johnson and their son Tate.
    2. What is the biggest difference between Kansas and Northern Ireland?
    The weather. It is a lot colder and wetter in Ireland.
    3. What are you looking forward to the most?
    The demolition derby and the rodeo as they are new to me.
    4. What do you feel you will gain from the Ulster Project?
    I feel I will gain lifelong friendships, a better understanding of communities, and the fact that religion can’t get in the way of friendships.
    5. How and why did you get involved in the Ulster Project?
    I have a lot of friends who had previously been on the Ulster Project and enjoyed it. I saw the notice in my church bulletin and put my application form in. I was then invited to an interview and was successful.
    6. If you were stranded on a desert island, what three items would you want with you?
    Music player, Play Station, Kindle
    Aoibhinn Donnelly
    1. Who is your host family?
    Page 2 of 4 - Jason and Summer Creed and their daughter, Sky Creed.
    2. What is the biggest difference between Kansas and Northern Ireland?
    The weather. It is so much warmer in Kansas than it is at home.
    3. What are you looking forward to the most?
    The variety show because we’ve been preparing for it for months, and I can’t wait to see everyone perform.
    4. What do you feel you will gain from the Ulster Project?
    Many new friendships that I wouldn’t have if it wasn’t for the Ulster Project and also gaining more confidence in myself.
    5. How and why did you get involved in the Ulster Project?
    People I know back home had went on the Ulster Project and it sounded like such a great experience from what they had told me so it inspired me to apply.
    6. If you were stranded on a desert island, what three items would you want with you?
    Food, water, and a boat (obviously!).
    Emma Webster
    1. Who is your host family?
    Fred and Louise Otero and their daughter, Raquel.
    2. What is the biggest difference between Kansas and Northern Ireland?
    No yearly test on your vehicle and different traffic laws, such as the stop signs, whereas we have traffic lights everywhere.
    3. What are you looking forward to the most?
    The rodeo so I can see the horses. I am excited to dress up as a cowgirl.
    4. What do you feel you will gain from the Ulster Project?
    Leadership and teamwork skills and definitely many new friends and long lasting bonds.
    5. How and why did you get involved in the Ulster Project?
    I got involved through school in Portadown, and I wanted to get a good experience and make new friends.
    6. Describe your perfect day.
    My perfect day would be April 24 because it is not too hot and it is not too cold. All you would need is a light jacket.
    Nicole Hamilton
    1. Who is your host family?
    Mike and Missy Corbus and their daughter, Hannah.
    2. What is the biggest difference between Kansas and Northern Ireland?
    The mannerisms of Americans and Northern Irish people are different, whenever you greet, thank, and say good-bye.
    3. What are you looking forward to the most?
    The Salt Mines on my birthday.
    4. What do you feel you will gain from the Ulster Project?
    Long lasting friendships and a new understanding of the Protestant and Catholic religious beliefs. Making bonds between the religions. This enables us to make friends with those we otherwise wouldn’t have had the opportunity to meet.
    Page 3 of 4 - 5. How and why did you get involved in the Ulster Project?
    I heard about it from my friends and relatives. Everyone who had gotten involved in it during previous years had nothing but amazing memories to share. My family encouraged me greatly to further my understanding of religious differences.
    6. If you could invite any three people, dead or alive, to a party, who would they be?
    Ed Sheeran so we could play guitar and be chilled, Ke$ha so she could bring some sparkles and Leonardo DaVinci because he would be interesting and could make good riddles.
    James Maye
    1. Who is your host family?
    The Goss family. Ty is my host. Becky is my mum for the month, and Todd is my dad for the month
    2. What is the biggest difference between Kansas and Northern Ireland?
    The biggest difference is that Protestants and Catholics can mix in schools and can be accepted together in society.
    3. What are you looking forward to the most?
    I am looking forward to the demolition derby because I don’t get the chance everyday to see cars smash each other.
    4. What do you feel you will gain from the Ulster Project?
    I will gain life long friends in Ireland and in America. I will develop my leadership skills and become more confident. Also I will develop my faith and grow as a person.
    5. How and why did you get involved in the Ulster Project?
    I got involved in the Ulster Project in school and through my friends’ stories about it. The reason I got involved in the project is because I noticed a real change in my friends when they returned home from it; I also wanted to experience the American culture!
    6. Describe your perfect day.
    Visit Oz…
    Charlie Giffin
    1. Who is your host family?
    The Goss Family: Ty, Kade, Becky and Todd.
    2. What is the biggest difference between Kansas and Northern Ireland?
    The weather: it is a lot hotter in McPherson than Portadown, and I found it hard adapting to the different climate.
    3. What are you looking forward to the most?
    Continuing to meet the people of McPherson, as they are all so welcoming.
    4. What do you feel you will gain from the Ulster Project?
    Lifelong friendships and learning to understand and accept different cultures and religions.
    5. How and why did you get involved in the Ulster Project?
    Some of my friends have previously been involved in the Ulster Project in previous years and thoroughly enjoyed it. I found out how to apply through my school.
    Page 4 of 4 - 6. If you could invite any three people, dead or alive, to a party, who would they be?
    Lady Gaga, Jennifer Lawrence, Beyonce
    Niamh Donnelly
    1. Who is your host family?
    Steve and Peggy Bahr and their daughter, Anna.
    2. What is the biggest difference between Kansas and Northern Ireland?
    The roads are really flat and straight here and it is a lot hotter in Kansas than in Northern Ireland.
    3. What are you looking forward to the most?
    The rodeo and demolition derby and also the car wash on July 27
    4. What do you feel you will gain from the Ulster Project?
    I think I have really gained a lot from the project. I have made lifelong friends and I am now a more confident speaker. By the end of the month, I want to develop my leadership skills and experience things I will remember for the rest of my life.
    5. How and why did you get involved in the Ulster Project?
    My friends did the project last year, and this really influenced me to apply. I thought the project would be a really good opportunity to mix with people from another faith background in Northern Ireland. I also applied because I wanted to have a fun summer and create deep and long lasting friendships.
    6. If you could invite any three people, dead or alive, to a party, who would they be?
    Taylor Swift, Corey Monteith, and Taylor Stevens.
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